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BRITISH OPEN: English aces to challenge Nicol David

Jenny Duncalf aims to close in on Nicol David

UK, Thursday 12th April: The WSA has today released the draw for 2012 Allam British Open Championships, with world number one, Malaysia’s Nicol David seeded in the top half of the draw the ladies event at the London Piazza, O2 Arena from 14-20 May 2012.

David, a five time winner of the British Open Title, faces a strong domestic challenge from Harrogate’s Jenny Duncalf and Lancashire’s Laura Massaro, ranked two and three in the world respectively.

In the absence of an opportunity to lift an Olympic medal, success in the British Open takes on more significance than ever and the Ladies draw has attracted arguably the best field ever assembled for a top flight competition. Almost uniquely, the top 16 women players in the world are all entered – in fact top 24 out of the top 25 are set to travel to London in May.

David comes to London fresh from success in her native Kuala Lumpur Open and will face a qualifier in the opening round, which, given a natural progression could lead to a semi-final showdown with Laura Massaro.

Massaro, who retained the British National Championship in Manchester in March, will also play a qualifier in the first round but is seeded to collide with former world two and four times World Open finalist Natalie Grinham (Aus) in the second round.

Duncalf, back from a minor injury will start her campaign against Malaysia’s Delia Arnold (world no. 21), but a tough draw could see her face off in the quarter-finals against world number five  Raneem El Weleily, with fourth seedMadeline Perry waiting in the semi final.

Perry is drawn to meet 16 year old Egyptian phenomenon Nour El Sherbini in the last 16 of the tournament. El Sherbinin started playing squash when she was just 6 years old, lifted the British Junior Open and the World Junior Title in Chennai at the age of 13years in 2009.  She started mopping up WSA tour titles just a year later when she became the youngest tour winner after success in the Heliopolis Open  Also lurking in Perry’s quarter is the wildcard and former world no.3 Alison Waters. Waters has recently returned from a long injury lay off which has seen her ranking plummet, but with back to back titles last month, she will be aiming to go deep into the draw in her home city.

With such a strong field there will be no easy matches and the first round alone features some mouth watering clashes, including: Kasey Brown v Jaclyn Hawkes, Raneem El Weleily v Amanda Sobhy ,Dipika Pallikal v Omneya Abdel Kawy and Low Wee Wern v Alison Waters.
The qualifying event and first round of the ladies event are set for the stunning St Georges Hill Tennis & Squash Club in leafy Surrey, before lining up alongside their male counterparts at the O2 from the second round onwards.

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